WICHITA — After a 25-year career as a nurse at Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis, Marilynn Gump is now going to have her own company to be a nurse advocate.
“The fact is I thought I invented this, and then when I started looking, it is the coming thing,” she says.
Gump expects to have two kinds of clients for her Marilynn Gump Nurse Advocate business.
One kind is patients attempting to navigate their medical care with various specialists.
“The medical system has gotten so complex,” Gump says. “I would help a person formulate … pertinent questions and attend their office visits with them and make sure their questions are answered and that they understand their answers.”
Gump says in more than half the cases she sees, patients don’t understand what their doctors are telling them.
“Their interpretation of what they’re told is so often off the mark.”
Gump wants to help them understand and consider their options.
The second type of client Gump wants to help is the elderly – or their families who don’t live near them but want to ensure their care.
One thing I feel like I’m really good at is observing for changes,” Gump says.
She says she could attend appointments or stop by people’s homes to check on them.
“I’m not going to do direct patient care,” Gump says.
She will, though, check for vital signs, help with medications and observe cognitive or physical changes and report to families as often as they like.
That’s what she did for her own elderly parents.
“I really found it so satisfying,” Gump says. “My parents are gone. Now I’m ready to take care of someone else, I guess.”
She charges $40 an hour.
“This is a retirement job,” Gump says. “I’m not looking to hire other nurses or expand in that way. If I were younger, I probably would. … It’s so needed.”